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Best way to transfer money -UK-> US

Best way to transfer money -UK-> US

Old Apr 6th 2019, 4:57 am
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Default Best way to transfer money -UK-> US

Hi all,

settling into my new life in the US and the banking system has been the most tricky to get my head around. Even though I work in finance, retail banking seems to be a decade behind us and I've gotten nowhere discussing international transfers at citibank and chase. The representatives seem to be clueless about charges and rates. Can someone who does this often please let me know what the cheapest way to transfer a sum between 20,000-30,000. I've had a look at transferwise which has better rates than the banks but it charges a 0.35% transfer fee on most transfers. this seems extortionate. has anyone tried to transfer between a cash trading/brokerage account e.g. fidelity/interactive brokers from a UK to US account and avoid these costs?

Thanks in advance.
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Old Apr 6th 2019, 5:23 am
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Default Re: Best way to transfer money -UK-> US

You can either pay Transferwise fee or use someone who doesn't charge a fee and gives you a worse exchange rate. What you will not find is someone who will transfer your money for free. Well in fact I will happily do it for free, you just need to send the funds to my bank in Lagos.

Transferwise for the fee they charge will send the most amount of dollars to your US bank. That is what matters.
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Old Apr 6th 2019, 8:15 am
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Default Re: Best way to transfer money -UK-> US

Maybe talk to HSBC about setting up an account?
https://www.expat.hsbc.com/1/2/hsbc-...transfers/faqs
although they need to make money somewhere - so exchange rates may not be as good as transferwise.
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Old Apr 6th 2019, 9:08 am
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Default Re: Best way to transfer money -UK-> US

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
You can either pay Transferwise fee or use someone who doesn't charge a fee and gives you a worse exchange rate. What you will not find is someone who will transfer your money for free. Well in fact I will happily do it for free, you just need to send the funds to my bank in Lagos.

Transferwise for the fee they charge will send the most amount of dollars to your US bank. That is what matters.
Exactly

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
Maybe talk to HSBC about setting up an account?
https://www.expat.hsbc.com/1/2/hsbc-...transfers/faqs
although they need to make money somewhere - so exchange rates may not be as good as transferwise.
I have US and UK HSBC bank accounts and their transfer between accounts is fee free but whenever I tee up a transfer with them and Transferwise to compare then I ALWAYS end up clicking submit on the Transferwise window and canceling the HSBC one. For a $10k transfer to the UK then I’m better off by £60 - £70 using Transferwise although it does take a business day as opposed to same day with HSBC. If I should need the money same day then wiring the money to Transferwise is still a better deal than HSBC to HSBC. (What causes a business day is the USA ACH process to move money between accounts).
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Old Apr 6th 2019, 3:04 pm
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Default Re: Best way to transfer money -UK-> US

Originally Posted by ssk2506 View Post
I've gotten nowhere discussing international transfers at citibank and chase.
That seems a bit strange. As banks these organizations routinely do transfers.

https://online.citi.com/US/JRS/pands...=FundTransfers
https://www.chase.com/digital/wire-transfer

I use Wells Fargo and Transferwise.
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Old Apr 6th 2019, 3:42 pm
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Default Re: Best way to transfer money -UK-> US

I have had a revolut card / account now for 6 months plus and it has proven to be excellent. I can put £ on from my UK bank instantly and then convert and hold a variety of currencies - so far used Moroccan Dirham, Euro and US $. The exchange rate you get is a live rate and is the interbank rate so a good rate - You can track the rates and set alerts if you want to. When you use the card it works as a prepaid debit card with no transaction fee. I have also used it to get local currencies from an ATM. You get an instant text message when you use the card and as it is a phone App you can set it so it only works where your phone is for added security . I have also used it to transfer $30K to a USA account and that worked fine too. The reports about compliance is an issue which they need to deal with but as a transaction system it works well for me.They did ask where the money I was transferring came from but this was easily sorted.
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Old Apr 6th 2019, 3:48 pm
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Default Re: Best way to transfer money -UK-> US

Just glanced at their website...'free international money transfers'...wonder if they make their money from the exchange rate.
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Old Apr 6th 2019, 3:59 pm
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Default Re: Best way to transfer money -UK-> US

From what I have seen they make here money in other areas - BUT avoid converting currencies over the weekend - This was from a review article - Revolut, on the other hand, gives you the exact interbank exchange rate (and you can track the rate and set alerts) – not the marked-up price, but the bank’s spot price. You will get the same exchange rate you see on Google because both Google and Revolut use Live Bank to determine their exchange rate.

However, Revolut does markup the exchange rate on the weekends. It would appear that they take the exchange rate from Friday and then add a 0.5% -1.5% markup, depending on the currency. If you want to avoid this, just make sure you make all your card purchases or withdraw money from the ATM (to use on the weekend) on weekdays.

The second way regular banks make money from your international transfers is by charging high fees. (Those that don’t are the ones that often have the largest markups on the exchange rate.) If you are fine with your transfer taking up to two working days, Revolut will not charge you any fees. If you want to transfer your money faster, you can “turbo-boost it” for a tiny fee.
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Old Apr 6th 2019, 4:10 pm
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Default Re: Best way to transfer money -UK-> US

I pay WF $45 flat, to transfer half a million at a time. US to Europe.
It's not that much of a fee I suppose...but if I could save $20-$30 that's a couple of bottles of wine from Costco...

Last edited by Hotscot; Apr 6th 2019 at 4:15 pm.
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Old Apr 6th 2019, 4:29 pm
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Default Re: Best way to transfer money -UK-> US

Originally Posted by Wirksworth View Post
I have had a revolut card / account now for 6 months plus and it has proven to be excellent.
How did you get an account in the USA?

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Old Apr 6th 2019, 4:40 pm
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Default Re: Best way to transfer money -UK-> US

Good point ! I am still a resident in the UK so didn't have any problem getting a card - They claim they will be operating in the USA soon though
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Old Apr 6th 2019, 6:08 pm
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Default Re: Best way to transfer money -UK-> US

Buyer Beware...shady ?
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-47751945
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Old Apr 6th 2019, 6:27 pm
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Default Re: Best way to transfer money -UK-> US

Originally Posted by Hotscot View Post
I pay WF $45 flat, to transfer half a million at a time. US to Europe.
It's not that much of a fee I suppose...but if I could save $20-$30 that's a couple of bottles of wine from Costco...
Did they ever contact you and ask for a heads up for larger transfers? I was using OANDA back in 2012/2013 for UK to US transfers for a company and OANDA called me and asked for a heads up before I Initiated larger transfers... I told them no because I did not want them to adjust their rates.

As others have noted it’s always a combination of working out the flat fee / total sent and difference in rate. I would use HSBC UK to US for smaller amounts up to about $1500, where the rate difference was smaller than the flat fee, and 3rd party services for large than that.
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Old Apr 6th 2019, 6:44 pm
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Default Re: Best way to transfer money -UK-> US

No advance notice required. I usually do the larger ones in the WF branch office. Had some friction at times but it worked out.
But Transferwise has been user friendly from the desktop.
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Old Apr 6th 2019, 7:02 pm
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Default Re: Best way to transfer money -UK-> US

Originally Posted by Hotscot View Post
No advance notice required. I usually do the larger ones in the WF branch office. Had some friction at times but it worked out.
But Transferwise has been user friendly from the desktop.
My friendly WF manager asked me to warn my assignees not to use WF for international transfers since the exchange rate is so crap. He reckons regularly 4% under market rate - the biggest source of complaints they get in local branches.
Saying that some countries have no choice but to use the banks.
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